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Family safe, dog killed in Holland fire


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Fire crews battled a house fire Sunday morning in Holland.

Dispatchers tell us the flames broke out at around 4:15 a.m. on the second level of a home on East 16th street, and that everyone made it out safely. A dog on the second floor, however, was unable to escape and died in the fire, a news release states.

Holland Police sent out a tweet saying 16th Street between Fairbanks and Lincoln Ave is closed as crews work to clear the scene.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.


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Autopsy: No foul play in couple's death in townhome


PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- An autopsy performed on two people found dead in inside their Holland-area townhome confirmed that there were no obvious signs of foul play, police said.

Teri Hills, 27, and Amber Janowiak, 30, were found dead inside their bedroom Saturday at the Amberwood Townhomes complex.

An autopsy performed Monday by Ottawa County Chief Medical Examiner David Start did not find signs of foul play nor did it conclude a cause of death, according to an sheriff's department news release.

A toxicology report now is pending as the investigation continues. 

Police say the couple's deaths does not appear suspicious. 


Police ID 2 found dead inside Holland-area home


PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Investigators are working to determine how two people died inside their townhome.

Teri Hills, 27, and 30-year-old Amber Janowiak were found dead just before noon Saturday in the 1100 block of Amberwood Drive, according to an Ottawa County Sheriff's Department news release. The female's uncle, who also lives in the Amberwood Townhomes complex, came across the couple.

They were discovered dead in their bedroom.

There are no obvious signs of foul play, and neighbors police spoke with did not notice any suspicious activity, police said.

Holland snow-melt system running despite lack of snow


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Despite a lack of snow this season and a record-high temperature on Wednesday, Holland's snow-melt system is still running.

WZZM 13 is getting reaction from some downtown business owners who help pay for the snow-melt service even when it's not needed.

In downtown Holland this time of year, it's what you don't see above ground that's the big payoff from the city's underground snow-melt system.

"The streets are clear," said Maribeth Van Zalen, co-owner of JB and Me. "It's really something we pay for in the long run and it's so worth it."

But in the short-term, as in this season so far, there hasn't been much of a need.

"It definitely hasn't been put to use this year at all; I don't think we've gotten enough snow to actually have it work," said Andrew Fris, manager of Fris.

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Teen airlifted following crash in Olive Township


OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- An 18-year-old Holland man was flown to a Grand Rapids hospital with serious injuries after a two-vehicle crash Wednesday night in Olive Township.

It happened just after 9 p.m. Wednesday near the corner of 104th Avenue and Stanton Street.

Police say Brandon Redder blew through a stop sign at the intersection. He was hit by an SUV that was southbound on Stanton.

The driver of the SUV, Jordan Geerts, 23 of Hudsonville, was taken to Holland Hospital for evaluation as a precaution.

Thieves target unlocked homes in 24 Ottawa Co. break-ins


HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- This time of year should be Old Saint Nick's time to shine. However, thieves are stealing some of the spotlight in Holland Township.

Homes in a subdivision near Riley and 120th Avenue were targeted in break-ins over the past week.

"You got these people that just take the fun right away from it," said neighbor Jordan Meyer.

And on Butternut Avenue, too, thieves recently stole Christmas gifts.

"Somebody broke in while I was at work and stole a PS3," said Rhonda Tucker, adding thieves broke into her home just a few days before they targeted her neighbor's home early Monday morning. "Especially to find out they went in someone's house while they were home asleep --that's very scary."

Then, investigators say the suspects stole cell phones, as well as a car later found abandoned.

Zeeland boy with terminal cancer gets surprise from Santa


ZEELAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- The holiday season is bittersweet for an Ottawa County family. They're giving their 6-year-old twin boys the best Christmas ever.

One of them is healthy, the other has terminal cancer.

"The deck has been stacked against him, that's for sure", says Mark Wiersma. He and his wife Kate had twins Max and Wes in 2009. "We made it to 24 weeks and five days," he continued. "Two boys: 1lb 10 oz. and 1lb and 11 oz.," says Kate.

Max and Wes spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Wes went home first. "Max immediately showed signs of bigger issues." Mark says, "His lungs for whatever reason, were in way worse condition."